Anyone else remember the idea of the ‘unified inbox’ ? I am talking waaaay back in the day when we ‘wanted’ voice mail, texts and emails all to appear in one place ? It never happened. In fact it is worse. We now have an explosion of message mechanisms and apps – to which we need to add the balkanization of those streams and walled gardens adding to the complexity. With that challenge we all have our own favorites which means no matter how good our own particular favorite is – we are never going to get all our friends onto the same engine – because they have theirs. (You love Skype, I love FaceTime, my brother lives in Google).
And then I thought – I wonder if these guys might solve it ?
Doubt it – certainly while the likes of Facebook insist on a walled garden approach.
So yes – we have a unified EMAIL Inbox, but we have IMs, Twitter DMs and Facebook and What’sApp, WeChat, iMessage, SMS, MMS …. and then voice …. and then video ….
Meanwhile on my Apple Mac – I used to use Adium for a single IM app – it was perfect – but I stopped that maybe 2 years ago … so what changed there ? Maybe when they added Twitter and FB — way too many interrupts !!! And that is just what we face as individuals – the enterprise issues are orders of magnitude more complex.
Upside ? What a GREAT opportunity … for the Enterprise.
A single ‘app’ that an enterprise can use that can connect to voice, IM, Social, Message, SMS, MMS….. in a unified inbox – so if i call today, email tomorrow about the message I texted last week to ‘said enterprise’ – it is all in a threaded conversation that the enterprise’s customer contact center can use to understand the full context of MY request.
Because at the end of the day – if it really IS about the customer – then we. the people (customer is what a ‘brand’ calls us), should use the channel that is right and appropriate for them at the time they use it. And we should not have to keep repeating ourselves (I’m talking to you Comcast) .. and absolutely not be forced into using the comms center that is convenient for the enterprise.
Who’s going to hold their breath with me ?
I belong to an email discussion group called Only Influencers - which you can join - but if email is not a major interest / passion - you can also experience some of the expertise for free here. Bear with us, it is a new space on Reddit - so as I write - just getting going. This post was inspired by one of the debates on that discussion thread, which I decided was one to throw out into the wider world. Special thanks to Craig Swerdloff, Loren T. McDonald, Karen Talavera and Derek Harding for the reminder and inspiration - though they might not know that they did.